A circular economy keeps products and materials in a closed loop to uncouple economic growth from resource use. Five main circular business models include circular supplies, resource recovery, extension of product life, sharing platforms, and product as a service. Moving to a circular economy is estimated to create EUR 1.8 trillion of value in Europe alone. Technological advances enable the circular economy, alongside drivers of resource scarcity, volatile resource prices and an increasing focus on environmental sustainability. Leading businesses in a wide range of sectors are engaging with the circular economy.
Thirty companies with a combined revenue of USD $1.3 trillion are members of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development's Factor10 Circular Economy Program. Global partners of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation on the Circular Economy include Danone, Google, H&M, Intesa Sanpaolo, Nike, Philips, Renault, Solvay and Unilever. Increasing interest in the circular economy in the finance and policy sectors can further incentivise businesses to go circular. Circular Economy Finance Guidelines were launched by ABN AMRO, ING and Rabobank in 2018, on behalf of a broader working group. On the policy side, China and the EU are leading players. The challenge: How might we incentivise company boards to adopt circular business models?